This ex-major league reliever is giving the KC Royals reason to call him up.
Peruse Omaha’s roster and you’ll discover Sam Freeman is, at 35, the oldest Storm Chaser. In fact, he’s the only one born in the ’80’s, which suggests how young some of his teammates were when he pitched professionally for the first time in 2008.
Much water has since flowed under Freeman’s bridge. Parts of nine big league seasons and stints with six big league teams—the Cardinals, Braves, Rangers, Nationals, Angels and Brewers—lie behind him.
Yet here he is in 2022, toiling away in the minors, working to earn another big league chance.
And he just might get it.
Freeman, a two-time veteran of Tommy John Surgery who looked like another of Kansas City’s reclamation projects when he signed a minor league deal with the club in late January, has a 1.04 ERA in 24 relief appearances for Omaha. He’s also 3-0 and his WHIP is 1.077.
But control, a nemesis throughout his days in pro ball, could keep him in Triple-A. He’s walked 16 batters in 26 innings for a 5.5 BB9, which differs little from his major league 5.2 mark.
That doesn’t mean the Royals won’t give Freeman the shot he wants. He’s pitched well enough to get it, and the club needs to decide whether to keep him.